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Bowl notes: Snyder keeps eye on off-field achievement

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, at 12:32 p.m.
  • Updated Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, at 7:12 p.m.

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— During a Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl news conference on Friday, Bill Snyder was asked if there was anything one thing he wanted to achieve in his final years as Kansas State’s football coach.

Snyder didn’t mention anything about football during his answer.

“The ultimate goal for me is to be certain that I’ve done everything that I can to try to help lay the foundation for young people to move on to their chosen pattern of life,” Snyder said, “and become successful at what they do, be quality people.… As long as I’m capable of doing that, then I’ll have achieved what I want to achieve.”

Bad case of turf toe — Michigan coach Brady Hoke continues to insist that quarterback Devin Gardner is sidelined with a severe case of turf toe and not a broken foot, as CBSSports.com reported Thursday. He doesn’t know when Gardner will be ready to take the field again.

Running the ball — If Hoke could do one thing well against K-State, what would it be?

“We’d like to be able to run the ball and let the tailbacks get loose a little bit,” Hoke said. “We want to try and control the line of scrimmage.”

A big day on the ground would be a surprise. Michigan ranked 100th nationally while averaging 130.8 rushing yards during the regular season.

Better practice — Snyder didn’t have many nice things to say about K-State’s first few practices in the Phoenix area earlier this week, but he was complimentary of the way his players performed on Thursday.

“I thought we practiced better yesterday,” Snyder said. “The tempo was good after we got started.… I thought the spirit was good. I thought the effort was good.”

Praise for Mueller — How did defensive end Ryan Mueller go from unknown walk-on to standout pass rusher as a junior? Snyder explained the process began on the practice field.

“If you had 120 of those guys, life would be a lot easier,” Snyder said. “I think that’s his foundation for achieving the individual success that he achieves, it’s centered strictly around his practice effort.… That’s what has allowed him to make the kind of improvement that he has made.… That’s what you try to get all young people in your program to do.… All coaches do. He’s living proof of it.”

Reach Kellis Robinett at krobinett@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @kellisrobinett.

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